International Day of Peace

The International Day of Peace will be observed on Friday, September 21, 2018 at the Elder and Sage Community Gardens, Page Ave. in Asheville.

This year we will be dedicating a new peace pole in the gardens during our Peace Day observation at 11:30 a.m. Clare Hanrahan will welcome us to the garden. Emcee will be VFP associate member Dr. Ellis Halsey. Also lending their musical talents will be Caesar Williams III and Ruby Susan Warren of Dances for Universal Peace. State Representative Susan Fisher has been invited to read the Peace Day Proclamation on behalf of the 114 State District. Sponsors this year are the Veterans for Peace and WNC 4 Peace.

Our Peacemakers of the year are Yousef Natasha and wife Rachel Joy, both members of the Christian Peacemaker team. Although both live in Asheville, Yousef is a native of Palestine. Rachel is a native of the USA. Yousef, a filmmaker, recently produced Hebron, a documentary. One or both of them will be guests on A Better World, Thursday, September 20, at 5 p.m. on WPVM-FM.

Here is the proclamation, which is based on Julia Ward’s proclamation written more than 150 years ago.

Whereas, in this day of progress and century of light, too many community members have lost their lives to wars and acts of violence at home and around the globe;

Whereas, citizens have a duty to assemble, to discuss and make their desires for peace known to elected leaders in order to heal our planet of grief and horror. Their desires should now be heard, and answered as never before;

Whereas, parents have taught their children charity, mercy and patience, it is inconsistent to later tell them to go injure or kill other parents’ children elsewhere in the world or in our communities;

Whereas, our earth and this community have been devastated from countless wars and acts of violence decade after decade, not only harming and killing people who are inhabitants, but also polluting our globe’s waters, air and land that sustain our continued existence, causing its people to cry: “Disarm, disarm;”

Whereas, The sword of murder is not the balance of justice. blood does not wipe out dishonor, nor violence vindicate possession;

Whereas, our workforce has often forsaken its service to our community in order to answer the summons to war, our governments must now leave their addiction to violence and destruction, by instead honoring Peace, and celebrating it on the International Day of Peace, turning this current culture of war and violence into one of peace, equality, respect, compassion and love;

Whereas, we must always honor and commemorate those who have died in service to their homeland, the City of Asheville, County of Buncombe and State of North Carolina must now resolve to honor their lives by committing our lives to peace and justice, as brothers and sisters and as fellow species to other life on this delicate planet;

Whereas, all civilization is in danger of annihilation from intentional or accidental use of nuclear weapons, it is now imperative for all governments, local and national, to promote alliances with other nationalities in the amicable settlement of international differences, with the purpose of creating the great goal of lasting justice and peace, freeing up resources needed for our local communities to improve education, human relations, healthcare, infrastructure and incomes of citizens throughout our communities;

I, Esther Manheimer, Mayor of the City of Asheville, do declare September 21, 2018 as International Day of Peace (same for county and legislative district), and urge all citizens to commit their lives to solving disagreements nonviolently in their homes, communities, their states, our nation and the world.

The International Day of Peace proclamation will be read on September 18, 2018 at the Buncombe County Commissioners meeting at 5 p.m. on College Street next to TD Bank.


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